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Resources for Faculty: Collection Development

The Library Collection is Built Through Partnership

The departmental allocation

The library allocates a certain amount of money annually to each department and program to recommend books and other purchases. One member of each department coordinates these recommendations as the departmental liaison to the library. Since our library is a teaching library for undergraduates, please be aware that your requests should be suitable for an undergraduate readership. See our Collection Development Policy for more details. Questions about this process can be directed to your library liaison.

Books in other areas

We know that many faculty members have knowledge and interests that may be outside of their own discipline.  Therefore, you may want to recommend books to the library that aren't specific to your departmental program. Please feel free to pass such recommendations along to us. We want to build interdisciplinary areas as well.

Videos and Streaming Media

Generally, we acquire DVD versions of videos because streaming options don't offer the price and usage rights that work best for Gustavus. The covid pandemic has altered our practices somewhat to support changing teaching modalities. Please see our Streaming Video page for more information. We encourage departments to order videos through the library so they can be a campus-wide resource. (We also often get discounts.) We can put videos on reserve for your students to view in the library or check them out to you for classroom use. The check-out period for videos is shorter than for books, but we can extend the period as needed.

Subscriptions to journals and electronic databases

Journals and databases, both ongoing subscriptions, aren't purchased out of these departmental allocations. Librarians consider database requests individually as they arise. Please send recommendations to us, although please note that many database subscription prices often cost much more than what the library budget can support. We will certainly investigate pricing options for all database requests that support student learning. 

Special funds

In addition to funds allocated to the department, the library has funding available to fill in gaps. Some may be appropriate to your discipline and again, we know that many faculty members have interests that aren't specific to their departmental program. Please feel free to pass such recommendations along to the library. Though our first aim is to support the curriculum, we want to build a solid liberal-arts collection that covers areas not necessarily specific to Gustavus course offerings.

We also have several endowed lines that have a subject focus. We appreciate your help in making use of these funds.

  • Alexis - American Studies
  • Hiram Drache - Western European History
  • Ebba Carlson - for cutting-edge materials in the field of biology
  • Edgar M. Carlson - Religion; Lutheran studies in particular
  • Myron Falck Fund - Music and music recordings
  • Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies
  • GLA Diversity - for purchasing materials related to diversity widely-defined
  • Hasslequist Fund - International studies
  • Maurice Moe - legal materials related to our mission and curriculum
  • Scandinavian Studies

Streaming Video

The library began acquiring streaming licenses for select films for online teaching in Spring 2020 with the onset of the COVID pandemic. Below please find information on current licenses and guidelines for requesting streaming video in 2021-2022:

  • Current licenses:
    • Browse the catalog for Videos Currently Licensed for Streaming (expiration dates vary). If you want to incorporate one of these films into a class, direct your students to click the "View Now" button in the library catalog to view the film. Or contact to request a direct link to a film
    • Films on Demand History Collection: A collection of over 5,000 documentaries, educational videos, interviews, speeches, and newsreels covering the ancient world to the present day. You can use pre-made clips, full videos, and custom segments for teaching and learning. Tip: to limit your search by subtopic, use the filters at the top of the search results list.
  • Prioritizing online courses: In order to manage the budget wisely, in 2021-2022 we must prioritize streaming titles for online courses, followed by hybrid courses.
  • DVDs for on-campus courses: For in-person courses, in most cases, the library will purchase DVDs rather than streaming licenses.
  • Limitations: While the Library will attempt to fulfill all streaming requests, please note that some requests cannot be filled due to issues of cost or availability. For instance, many streaming services (including Netflix and Amazon Prime) do *not* offer institutional licensing for libraries; therefore, while there are some exceptions, most videos that are available only through one of those services would need to be accessed by students on their own individual accounts.
  • Streaming Video Request Form: Use this form to request pricing and availability of a streaming video for your class. Library staff will review your request and contact you about next steps.
  • Questions? Contact



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